St. Peter's Catholic Church

108 E. St. Peter St.~ New Iberia LA 70560 ~ (337) 369-3816

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The ancient liturgical service of Tenebræ

The following video is an informative look into the ancient liturgical service of Tenebræ. 

We will offer this beautiful service in a shortened form ​on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at 7 pm. 

About Tenebrae

Holy Father's Intention

Formation in Spiritual Discernment

That the Church may appreciate the urgency of formation in spiritual discernment, both on the personal and communitarian levels.

Prayer for Seminarians

O Lord Jesus Christ, great High Priest, I pray that you call many worthy souls to your holy priesthood. Enlighten the Bishop and Vocation Director in the choice of candidates, the Spiritual Directors in molding them, and the professors instructing them. Lead the seminarians daily in your unerring footsteps, so that they may become priests who are models of purity, possessors of wisdom, and heroes of sacrifice. May they be steeped in humility and aflame with love for God and man, apostles of your glory and sanctifiers of souls. Mary, Queen of the Clergy, pray for us. Amen

Holy Week Mass Times & Services

Holy Week Services and Mass Times

Parish Life


Lenten Mission

Lenten Mission

Tenebrae Service

Tenebrae ServiceThe Service of Tenebrae has roots dating back to the Ninth century. At the heart of Tenebrae are the Lamentations of the Prophet Jeremiah which are set to one of the most hauntingly poignant Gregorian Chant tones. Musicologists have traced the origin of this tone back to the services of the Temple in Jerusalem, and they have surmised that this tone is possibly one that Christ, himself, would have heard.

This year we are joined by two additional choirs: the Voices of St. Mary Magdalen and the Children’s Choir of St. Mary Magdalen. The service this year will feature musical selections by such noted composer of Sacred Music as: Johann Sebastian Bach, Théodore Dubois, Rihad Dubra, and Gabriel Fauré. In this years' service we will also be using a musical practice common to the 16th and 17th centuries Lutheran Church in which a hymn or chorale was played through , or “sung” by the organ with much musical ornamentation and elaboration followed by the congregation joining in singing the hymn. This service is offered to allow our parishioners the opportunity to prepare more deeply and prayerfully for the events that will unfold in the succeeding Holy Week. Please make plans to join us for this Service of Shadows.

O Crux Ave, spes unica: The Musical selections of The Service of Tenebrae 2018

The service of Tenebrae

The service of Tenebrae each year begins in silence as the chanter, clergy and servers process to the sanctuary. This silence is briefly punctuated by the loud cracking resound from the crotalus. After the first Lamentation, the combined groups will join in singing the short motet O Crux Ave written by the 21st century Latvian composer Rihad Dubra. This gem of a motet set the beautiful Latin text which translated is: “O hail the cross our only hope in this Passiontide.” The harmonic language used by the composer paints a musical picture of the cross which we venerate and upon which our salvation was granted.

Following the “O Crux Ave”, soprano Elizabeth Edwards will sing “Pity me Father “by Baroque Italian composer Alessandro Stradella. In this selection, we hear the pensive nature of the prayer of Christ uttered in the Garden of Gethsemane. Succeeding this selection will be the well-known anthem by the English composer Sir John Stainer, “God So Loved the World” from his oratorio The Crucifixion. This selection sets the text of St. John’s Gospel to a rather straight forward homophonic (moving chordally) texture in the great style of the English Choral tradition. Following this selection will be the time-honored motet by the twentieth century French composer Théodore Dubois “Adoramus Te Christe” taken from his work Les Sept parole de le Christ (the Seven Last Words of Christ). This simple, elegant motet uses the text that we recite faithfully at Stations of the Cross, “We adore thee o Christ, and we praise you, for by your cross you have redeemed the world.” This beautiful text is complemented by a simple harmonic treatment and is sung in Latin.

Below, is part one of two about the remaining motets, anthems, and description of the service.

Surely, He Hath Borne Our Grief: The Service to Tenebræ

Part I of II

The second portion of the Service of Tenebræ will feature more choral music that draws us deeper into meditation and contemplation on the coming events of Holy Week. Concluding selection that will be sung is the anthem “Surely, He Hath Borne our Griefs” by American Composer Victor Johnson. This moving selection set to music the famous text from the prophet Isaiah. The musical treatment of this text follows the scriptural text by using several modern chordal progressions and quietly ends with the text, “surely.” The anthem will be sung by all choral groups participating in the service.

Of added interest, the noted American Composer Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalm Adoani will be sung during the service by the women’s scholae. It is our hope that this service will be a fittingly prayerful way to enter more deeply into the events of Holy Week.

Preparing for the Holiest Week of the Year

Dear Parishioners,

Like last year, we are having a special Divine Mercy Mass at 3 pm on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 8. Divine Mercy Sunday is an extension of the Great Feast of Easter and St. Faustina told us that it is a day of extraordinary graces. So, we shouldn’t let this day catch us by surprise as if it were any other day. We are already planning to launch our Perpetual Adoration Chapel dedicated to Divine Mercy-on that day, but there’s still more we can do.

I personally invite you to join me in praying the Divine Mercy Novena leading up to that day. It starts on Good Friday and ends Divine Mercy Sunday. It involves praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet every day for Nine Days for a specific series of intentions. You can find out more at You can of course include your own intentions, but I also ask that you pray for our parish, our city, and for an end to the violence and desperation that plagues our community.

Please, don’t miss this opportunity of grace. Thank you for your prayers and may God’s merciful face continue to shine upon us!

In Christ,

Fr. Albert